The Bachelor featured Zach Shallcross testing positive for coronavirus in London and missing most of the week with his disappointed bachelorettes, The Bachelor franchise's first-ever virtual cocktail party and Rose Ceremony, and the elimination of Kylee Russell and Mercedes Northup.

Zach denied roses to Kylee, a 25-year-old postpartum nurse from Charlotte, NC, and Mercedes, a 24-year-old nonprofit owner from Bloomfield, IA, at the fifth Rose Ceremony of the season.


"I'm so stupid. I'm literally so stupid. I just kept hoping he was my person," Kylee lamented in her final words.

"I know I'm good enough; it's just going to take the right person to see. But it's just, like, I'm tired of waiting for that right person."

The Bachelor broadcast began with Week 5 in London.

The first Date Card revealed that Gabi Elnicki, a 25-year-old account executive from Pittsford, VT, would be accompanying Zach on the first one-on-one date of the week.

Gabi had apparently dreamt of going to London her entire life, and she even has a tea cup tattoo on her arm. Gabi was therefore convinced this date was going to be perfect for her.

Once Gabi learned about her date, Greer Blitzer, a 24-year-old medical sales representative from Houston, TX, felt defeated, like she kept losing. Greer was wondering why her solo date with Zach kept getting pushed back, and she said she was "running out of excuses."

Greer said she wanted to show Zach her true self, and she was afraid he was going to send her home before she got the chance.

A butler then picked Gabi up at the hotel, and she and Zach were driven around the city in a beautiful black car. They tasted champagne in the back of the car, and Zach gushed about how things were easy and fun with Gabi. Zach was prepared to treat her like a queen and give her the ultimate "royal experience."

Zach and Gabi proceeded to a perfume and cologne shop, where they smelled different fragrances and even created their own fragrance together that they called "Zabi."

Zach saw Gabi's quirky and silly side, and the pair cracked a couple sexual jokes and realized they have a similar sense of humor. Gabi got to try on a crown fit for a queen, and she and Zach had cocktails made just for them and tried on different hats.
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The couple also met Corgis with a royal bloodline and ate crumpets, and Zach thought Gabi was really funny and kept the jokes coming.

Gabi, who struggles with body image, also tried on beautiful dresses, and Zach was taken with a cobalt blue gown with a plunging neckline. She felt desired, wanted, special and comfortable in her own skin.

Gabi then returned to the hotel with what appeared to be about a dozen shopping bags. She was gifted Jimmy Choo shoes, a wool sweater, a green dress, an embellished crop top, diamond earrings and more.


Charity Lawson, a 26-year-old child and family therapist from Columbus, GA, said she always dreamed of a date like this and so it was hard to see it go to someone else. Greer also found it a challenge to act excited for Gabi, and as Gabi told the group details of her date, Greer started crying.

"That cut deep because I told Zach how much I love tea," Greer said in a confessional, getting choked up. "It was like rubbing dirt in the wound... That was my dream date... My love language is affirmation, and I haven't received that in a long time."

Once Gabi's bluish lilac gown was brought into the room, Greer walked away, and then Charity followed her. Charity said she felt for Greer because she was experiencing the same feelings but it was definitely a strong reaction.

Greer said she was upset because Zach had chosen certain women for specific dates and she thought Gabi's date for her personality "to a T." She was admittedly feeling "envious."

That night, Gabi hoped to be vulnerable at dinner and share more of herself with The Bachelor star. Zach told Gabi that he was surprised she wasn't nervous around him, but Gabi said it wasn't always sunshine and rainbows.

Zach said he thought he knew someone last season and he didn't -- and he just wanted someone to love and wake up next to every morning on a daily basis. He told Gabi that she looked really beautiful.

Gabi revealed how her last relationship was almost two years and she didn't feel confident in herself at the time. Gabi said she lost a little bit of herself in that romance and it meant a lot to her to feel seen by Zach. She liked how he made her feel pretty without even saying it out loud.

Meanwhile, a Date Card arrived for the following women: Aly Jacobs, a 26-year-old healthcare strategist from Atlanta, GA; Ariel Frenkel, a 28-year-old marketing executive from New York City, NY; Brooklyn Willie, a 25-year-old rodeo racer from Stillwater, OK; and Greer.

The other women on the Date Card were Jess Girod, a 23-year-old e-commerce coordinator from Winter Springs, FL; Kaity Biggar, a 27-year-old ER nurse from Austin, TX; Kat Izzo, a 26-year-old registered nurse from Tampa, FL; Kylee Russell, a 25-year-old postpartum nurse from Charlotte, NC; and Mercedes Northup, a 24-year-old nonprofit owner from Bloomfield, IA.

That meant Charity would be going on the next one-on-one date with Zach.

Mercedes broke down crying and sobbing about missing out on another solo date opportunity.

Zach was then shown giving Gabi a rose, and she said she felt loved. The couple then listened to a live performance by UB4O. They danced and kissed the night away, and Gabi said she could absolutely picture her life with Zach.


The next day, when the ladies were ready for their group date, they received a letter from Zach. Zach explained that he was feeling a little under the weather but wanted them to go enjoy London and explore the city without him on a double decker bus.

Since Zach wrote, "I'll see you soon," the group assumed they were going to see him that evening.

It was a gloomy and cold day for the women, who had an opportunity to spend time with Zach stripped from them. It even started raining when the ladies were riding on the top of the bus.

Meanwhile, Zach said he felt jet lagged and rundown. He didn't want to get anyone else sick, but he regretted valuable time was being taken away from a group of bachelorettes.

Zach hoped his sickness would pass and he'd be ready to see them hours later. But the tide turned once the ladies got a little drunk, ate fish and chips and did some sight seeing.

That night, the ladies received another message from Zach, who said he still wasn't feeling well and he hoped to see them soon.

Most of the girls cried about the news, and Mercedes felt she was back at Square One. Brooklyn felt "stood up" and admitted she felt "too pissed off to cry." Greer, however, said this experience felt familiar to her. She needed to be validated and lifted, adding how she had no grace left to give.

Zach said he felt horrible about disappointing the ladies and missing out on time with them. He just hoped he could get enough rest and feel good enough to accompany Charity on her one-on-one date the next day.

The next day, Charity told the cameras, "I could see Zach as my husband. I have the feels, and so I remain hopeful."

The Bachelor host Jesse Palmer then announced to the women Zach had tested positive for coronavirus and it was his "worst nightmare" to lose this part of his journey.

Charity said she felt really sad and everyone cared deeply about the Bachelor. Charity was concerned about Zach's health but felt overwhelmed because she believed this was going to be a turning point in their relationship. Charity was afraid to get "skipped over" and forgotten about.

Jesse apologized to the bachelorettes and asked everyone to continue being patient with Zach. Kaity cried about the idea of Zach being isolated in a hotel room, and Brooklyn asked, "How do we move forward?"

Kaity then put together a care package for Zach to show she'd always be there for him. She dropped a box off at his hotel room and spoke to him through the door. Kaity assured Zach that she hadn't stopped thinking about him and it meant so much to her to even hear his voice.

"I'm here for you, and I'm just scared that momentum is going to fall flat... I am so invested and I do see this. I see you and I see a future with you," Kaity gushed to the Bachelor.


Zach told Kaity that he had so much confidence in them and he saw something with her as well. Kaity promised Zach that she wasn't going anywhere and that he was worth all the hard times and challenges.

"All of my fears and doubts just resolved by talking to him," Kaity said. "I haven't met a man so genuine, so ready to fall in love, and I could totally see myself being married to this man."

Covid-19 clearly put a halt to Zach's week in London. He said canceling his date with Charity was "just devastating," and he said he was going to figure out a way to see the women he had disappointed.

Zach then conducted a virtual cocktail party, and he'd be holding the first virtual Rose Ceremony that night. Jesse asked the women to make the most out of a very unusual and awkward situation.

Aly said she felt anxious because she likes communicating with physical touch, and Charity also worried because she joked about how she's goofy on videochat. But Greer was happy to have a chance to talk to Zach before the Rose Ceremony.

Zach apologized to Charity for canceling their date, and then he asked Charity to find a surprise behind a pillow on her couch. He gifted her Big Ben saying their "Time had Been cut short." Zach promised Charity their time would come and he couldn't wait for it. She finally felt chosen and acknowledged.

Kat said she learned "snug" means "kiss" in English and so they virtually snugged each other. She was still giving Zach butterflies. Brooklyn made Zach laugh by wearing a guard's hat, and Aly asked Zach to kiss an orange pretending it was her.

When Greer got her time with Zach, she told the Bachelor, "I feel for you," in regards to his COVID-19 diagnosis.

"I feel for you. I work in sales. So last time I had COVID, it was at the end of a quarter, like end of the year. And so I kind of know what it's like to have a goal that you're trying to reach and you're stuck," Greer explained.

But Zach said he thought Greer's "end of sales close quarter" situation was "completely different" from his own given he was frustrated over trying to find his future wife.

Greer insisted that she never meant to belittle his feelings or downplay his situation by comparing it to sales. Greer said she was just trying to put herself in his shoes.

"I just had to put it out there, like, it's not the same. In a few short weeks, I could be standing in front of my person, and that means a lot more to me than the end of a sales quarter," Zach explained.

"Yeah, yeah, I know it's more important to you, for sure," Greer said.


Greer didn't feel good about the conversation she had with Zach. Greer hated how that misunderstanding consumed her time, and she noted how it was obvious she had insulted Zach or at least rubbed him the wrong way.

Greer cried to Charity and Brooklyn about how she had unintentionally "diluted" Zach's situation, but Charity said Zach was probably just upset by the circumstances.

Greer also told the cameras it wasn't fair to her to keep holding onto the first night, when she had received Zach's First Impression Rose.

After the cocktail party ended, Zach cried to Jesse via Zoom about how the London week had been "robbed" from himself and the women; he had trouble wrapping his mind around that.

It then became time for the first virtual Rose Ceremony in The Bachelor history.

Zach announced to the women how he had the clarity he needed to make a decision but being sick was really "f-cking aggravating" for him.

Zach then announced names, one at a time, and the women walked up to a platter of roses, where they were allowed to take one. Names were called in the following order: Kaity, Charity, Aly, Kat, Brooklyn, Jess, Ariel, and Greer.

Zach eliminated Kylee and Mercedes as a result.

"It's really hard. Obviously I wanted it to work out, and Zach is an amazing frickin guy," Mercedes lamented in her final words.

"But usually when you leave, you get closure of hugging him, you know? And I couldn't do that because it was through a frickin screen. He'll find the love of his life, and it just wasn't me at the end of the day."


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About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.